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Trio of contested council races

Superior Court Judge Don Eaton won a second term by simply filling out paperwork and paying the candidate filing fee. Eaton is the only San Juan County official who is unopposed.

Because he is unopposed in a non-partisan judicial election, Eaton will be declared the winner after the Aug. 7 primary election and will not appear on the November ballot. This is his first election after being appointed to the job in early 2010 after the death of his predecessor, John O. Linde. The filing fee represents one percent of the annual salary of the elected official.

Also filing locally for election before the May 18 deadline were candidates for three County Council positions.

In council District 1 (San Juan South), incumbent Lovel Pratt is opposed by Bob Jarman. Two newcomers, Rick Hughes and Scott Lancaster, will compete to replace current District 4 (Orcas West) Councilman Richard Fralick, who is retiring from the council. District 3, representing Friday Harbor, will see a contest between veteran incumbent Howie Rosenfeld and Friday Harbor businessman Marc Forlenza. Because only two candidates filed for each position, after the primary, all six candidates will advance to the Nov. 6 general election.

Forlenza announced his intention to run for the council in a May 16 written statement that said, “I am ready to take on the tasks that await a group of effective county governance.”

The issues needing his attention, according to Forlenza, include the critical areas ordinance update, solid waste, broadband and cell-phone coverage, and the August vote on a sales tax increase. The overriding issue which affects “nearly all of the county problems” is the “long-term viability of our economy without compromising the environment, he said

Rosenfeld identified his “main concern” as getting the county through the transition of bringing on a new administrator and preparing the county to deal with the Charter Review Commission’s recommendations, if they pass.

“I want to help write the job description for Pete Rose’s replacement,” Rosenfeld said. As for the proposal to reduce the council from six members to three, he said, “I’m okay with three, although I would prefer we go to five, as long as everybody realizes the job will require full time from all council members.

In other races, there will be primary elections for 40th District state Senator, and for U.S. Congressman from the 2nd Congressional District. Both races involve incumbents running for reelection and will not be resolved until the November general election.

For the state senate position, first-term incumbent Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, will be challenged by John Swapp of Decatur Island and Jim Cozad of Bellingham.

In 2010, Swapp ran against state Rep. Jeff Morris, garnering 43 percent of the vote.

In the race for Congress from the re-designed 2nd congressional district, six-term incumbent Rick Larsen faces five opponents. Republicans Dan Matthews of Everett, Eli Olsen of Marysville, and John C.W. Shoop of Conway have filed, as have Mike Lapointe of Everett and Glen S. Johnson of Mount Vernon.

Matthews, the Republican establishment favorite, is expected to prevail in the primary and face Larsen in November.

For the state House, first-term incumbent Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, is unopposed in Position 1. In Position 2, 16-year veteran Jeff Morris, D-Mount Vernon, is opposed by Howard Pellett of Anacortes, who identifies himself with the Green Party.

If all these filings make you wonder how much it costs to run for public office, or about the salary for each office, the filing fee is 1 percent of the annual salary for the office. For the U.S. Senate, that amounts to a fee of $1,740. For governor, $1,668.91. For Superior Court, $1,488.32. For County Council, $337.19.

Just move the decimal point two places to the right to determine the salary of the office in question.

Community Events, April 2014

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